Eggplant is a good vegetable to carve, either to make a Penguin or an Owl like I have done! Easy to carve and looks cute in any presentation!
Did you know that at one time, women in the Orient used a black dye made form eggplant to stain their teeth a gun metal gray? The dye probably came from the same dark purple eggplant we see in the marketplace today.
The eggplant is a member of the potato family, and it is known worldwide as aubergine, eggplant, brinjal, melanzana, garden egg, and patlican. It is available year-round, with the peak season during the months of August and September.
Eggplants have a small amount of nutrients. They are naturally low in calories and unpeeled, they provide some fiber. There is also some folate and potassium.
Nutrition Facts (1 cup cooked, cubed )
Protein .82 gram
Carbohydrates 6.57 grams
Dietary Fiber 2.48 grams
Phosphorus 21.78 mg
Potassium 245.52 mg
Folate 14.26 mcg
Cooked eggplant soaks up a lot of oil. As the air rushes out of the cells oil rushes in to take it place. Many cooks insist on salting and pressing (or just draining) the air and water out before cooking. Getting rid of the air means it will absorb less oil during cooking. Salting also reduces the water content which reduces the amount of water leeched out into the dish. If you salt prior to cooking, rinse and pat dry to prevent excessive salt in the end product. Adjust the seasoning in the recipe to compensate for the salt remaining on the eggplant.
Then there is the issue of whether or not to peel the eggplant. Peeling should depend on how the eggplant is used in the recipe. If you never peel, selection becomes extremely important. Young tender eggplant is a must as older tough skin takes longer to cook and by then the flesh is overcooked.
Eggplant can be baked, grilled, steamed, or sauteed. It is versatile and works well with tomatoes, onions, garlic and cheese. The only way eggplant is unacceptable is raw.
Author: Dr. K.B. Mallya